Memorial Planned for Jewish Mother Killed by Car on Yom Kippur

Daughter on the Mend, Officials Eye Better Safety


By Anne Cohen

Published October 03, 2013.
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A memorial service for the Jewish woman who died crossing a busy Florida street on Yom Kippur will be held on October 6 in Jacksonville — as officials ponder ways to improve safety at for observant Jews at the perilous intersection.

Esther Ohayon, 57, was walking to synagogue with her daughter when a Toyota Camry hit them head on. Orly Ohayon, 16, was raced to University of Florida Health hospital with several broken bones and torn ligaments. Esther Ohayon died at the scene.

The memorial service will be held at the Chabad of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville at 7 p.m., Rabbi Yaakov Fisch of Etz Chaim synagogue, where Orly and her mother were headed for Kol Nidre, told the Florida Jewish Journal.

“I imagine there will be quite a crowd,” added Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner of the Jacksonville Jewish Center, which is co-sponsoring the service along with the two synagogues.

Esther Ohayon was buried in Israel, where her three other children currently reside. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Ohayon immigrated to Israel in 1969, where she met her husband, Yehuda. In 1975, the family moved to Jacksonville to be closer to his sister and brother, both Florida residents. Yehuda Ohayon passed away in 1999.

An active member of the community, Esther Ohayon taught pre-school at the Jacksonville Jewish Center for 8 years.

“She was always just smiling and loving where kids were concerned. She was endlessly patient, ” Lubliner told the Florida Jewish Journal. She was “the ideal pre-school teacher.”

Orly Ohayon is an active member of the National Coalition Synagogue Youth, the international youth program run by the Orthodox Union, on both the regional and national level. She was transferred to the Brooks Rehabilitation center on September 25 to continue her treatment.


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